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New era Ceredigion Council’s for Ethics and Standards Committee

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THE ETHICS and Standards Committee has recently welcomed four new members following the end of term of two others.

Chair Eddie Ffoulkes-Jones and Vice-chair Stephen Cripps gave 10 years’ service to the Committee between 2008 and 2018 and departed in February 2018. In their place, sees Chair Hywel Wyn Jones and Vice-chair Caroline White. Two new independent members, Carol Edwards and John Weston, have also been appointed.

Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council told The Ceredigion Herald:  “Ceredigion County Council has benefitted from a decade of excellent advice and guidance from the members of the Ethics and Standards Committee under the Chairmanship of Eddie Foulkes Jones and we are deeply indebted to him, Vice-Chair Stephen Cripps and the committee members. However, we are now embarking on a new era with four new members of the committee.  Their input to the function of the Ethics and Standards Committee will be greatly appreciated and we look forward with confidence that the Council will continue to function effectively and efficiently in an open and transparent manner.”

Commenting on his appointment as Chairman of the Committee, Hywel Wyn Jones said: “I feel honoured to have been appointed as chair of Ceredigion County Council’s Ethics and Standards Committee and look forward to carrying on the excellent lead of my predecessor, Eddie Foulkes Jones, and to working with my colleagues, comprising both Elected Members and independent appointees, to maintain the high ethical standards that have been set”.

The members of the Committee have a clear vision for the future. Hywel Wyn Jones continued: “An important part of the committee’s work is to consider applications by councillors for dispensation to take part in debates on issues in which they may have some personal and prejudicial interest. In these cases, we are always aware of the need to enable members to represent and speak for their electors, except when their personal situation makes that inappropriate.”

Ceredigion County Council Chairman, Councillor Lynford Thomas, added: “Our thanks go to Eddie and Stephen who have given of their time to contribute to the Committee and we welcome the new members.”

Hywel Wyn Jones concluded: “The issue of ethical standards in public life has had a great deal of media attention recently, and Standards Committees of local authorities exist to do all that is possible to promote and safeguard the standards that the public rightly expect from their elected representatives. Ceredigion has a good record of compliance, and I’m confident that this can continue, despite the heavy pressures that members are under, particularly due to the severe financial cuts facing our councils.”

Hywel Wyn Jones Chaired his first Committee on 06 April 2018. The Committee is an open meeting, made up of five independent members, two county councillors and two community councillors. Meeting quarterly, papers for the Ethics and Standards Committee can be seen on the Council’s website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk

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A level results still high in Ceredigion

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THE ‘A’ level examination results published today by the WJEC (15 August) show that high standards are being achieved in Ceredigion schools once again. 97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 27.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.

Ceredigion pupils continue to outperform the Welsh average. More pupils in Ceredigion achieve the top ’A’ grades and A* to E grades. The below table shows a comparison with average Welsh figures. These don’t include Welsh Baccalaureate results and those from examination bodies other than WJEC.

Wales 2019             Ceredigion 2019

Grade A* – A           27.92%                    27.0%

Grade A* – B           56.0%                      n/a

Grade A* – C          77.5%                        n/a

Grade A* – E          97.9%                       97.6%

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations once again to Ceredigion’s sixth form students for their successes in this year’s A Level and AS examinations.

These results are the culmination of a long journey through school life which has seen them nurture and develop the academic and interpersonal skills that will enable them to move confidently into higher education, training or employment in fields of their choice. I wish them good luck for the future and would like to sincerely thank all who have contributed to their school journey in any way.”

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MP Ben Lake calls for reform of police funding

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HAVING recently shadowed Dyfed Powys Police officers in Aberystwyth, the Ceredigion MP has again urged the UK Government to review the police funding formula for rural areas.

Mr Lake visited Aberystwyth police station as part of the #GiveADayToPolicing campaign, a scheme for Members of Parliament to better understand the challenges currently facing police forces across the UK.

During his visit Mr Lake had the opportunity to experience a variety of aspects of local policing – from spending time with the neighbourhood policing team, meeting officers from different departments, and discussing policing challenges with front-line police officers.

Mr Lake has challenged the UK Government on several occasions to reform the formula for police funding – highlighting the need for the funding formula to take into consideration the seasonal pressures on forces, particularly the significant increase to the population of coastal areas during the summer months.

Mr Lake said: “I am very grateful to the officers of Aberystwyth police station for their welcome, and for taking the time to speak with me. I now have a better understanding of the challenges our police officers face, as well as a deeper level of respect and admiration of their work and commitment to public safety.

“As I have previously stated, we cannot expect a one size fits all approach to work effectively across the whole of the UK, and as such, it is imperative that the criteria used to allocate the Home Office police grant are revised so that they reflect the increased demands and unique challenges facing rural forces in areas such as Ceredigion, especially during summer months.”

Mr Lake added: “It is widely acknowledged that Welsh police forces have suffered under the present funding formula, and so it is high time that the UK Government either amends the formula accordingly, or devolves the responsibility for policing to the Welsh Government so that they may do so themselves.”

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New waste trial launched in Aberystwyth

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A NEW trial has been launched in Aberystwyth as part of the Caru Aber campaign, to help keep the town centre clean on waste collection days.

Heavy duty sacks will be placed on Aberystwyth streets on Monday afternoons before the black bag collection on Tuesdays in the following streets; Portland Street, Portland Road, Queen Street, Corporation Street, Eastgate Street, New Street and Cambrian Place.

Black bags should be put in the sacks by 8am on Tuesday mornings for collection. The intention is that the sacks contain the waste until it is collected. The sacks will be retrieved after the waste has been collected to avoid clutter and obstruction on the streets.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “We see this trial as a practical and relatively cost effective way of responding to long standing issues relating to domestic waste presentation in Aberystwyth town centre. The sacks will also provide a visible reminder to residents in the town centre on what days to present their black bags.

“The trial forms part of the Caru Aber campaign, and the wider Caru Ceredigion campaign, where the council looks to work with local communities to address issues which are of concern or are important to them.

“This innovative approach is another example of positive proactive action the council is taking. We hope that the residents of the town centre will play their part by making good use of the sacks as this will be the critical factor in measuring the success of the scheme.”

Clean recycling and food waste should continue to be presented on a weekly basis in the containers that the council already provides through clear bags and food caddies.

Ensuring that the right waste is presented in the right way and on the right day will help to make sure that the town’s streets are kept clean and that the waste is contained, managed and treated in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way as possible.

The sacks were first used in readiness for waste collections on Tuesday 6 August 2019. The initial feedback is positive as they have worked to contain the waste on the streets, which were noticeably cleaner.

This latest initiative is developing on feedback and experience from two other trials undertaken. The success of the trial will be monitored on an ongoing basis and reviewed to reflect the experience which will include looking at ways of engaging all residents.

For more information about the new scheme, please contact the Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 or by e-mail on clic@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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